This is one of the very few efforts made by director Jesus Franco and star Lina
Romay to create old-fashioned hardcore porn, the old in-out and
The premise of the movie is somehow kinda sorta vaguely related to the famous
Oscar Wilde story from which it derives its name. A mysterious, rich lesbian recluse lives in her isolated
castle, while an exact duplicate of her, presumably a twin sister, is confined
to a nearby asylum. The countess has numerous affairs, all of which seem to end
with her sucking the very life out of her sexual partners like some kind of a
sexual vampire who drains her victims with orgasms.
Meanwhile, the other sister spends all of her waking hours saying crazy things
and masturbating furiously.
Kinda like Bill Maher.
The two sisters look exactly alike, so there is no direct parallel to the Wilde
story, but if you really want to stretch the metaphor, you could say that the
Bill Maher sister is paying for the sins of the murderous countess, just
as Dorian's portrait paid for his sins. But the most important element of their
psychic link has quite a different spin from anything imagined by Wilde. The institutionalized sister also gets
the benefit of Doriana's lust, for the tragic nature of their telepathic
communication is that the rich one has all the sex, but the crazy one has all
Maybe not exactly what Oscar Wilde had in mind.
Or maybe exactly what Oscar had in mind, but couldn't express directly in
At any rate, the story begins when a journalist arrives to interview the
mysterious countess about her life and her alleged twin, and the story is told
using that tete-a-tete as the framing device, thus allowing the countess to
narrate constantly. Not that there's much to narrate. Except for the first few
minutes of the film, which includes some of the countess's reflections on life
and loneliness, the film is basically just non-stop sex scenes.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Franco's approach to sex scenes is somewhat different from what you might see in
a modern mass-produced porn film. While the scenes are neither very romantic nor
very passionate, they are shot in beautiful lighting with a clinical attention
to detail. In fact, "clinical" is probably the best word to describe all of the
sex scenes in this film. Lina Romay, Franco's life-partner and collaborator,
plays both sisters and between the two roles she manages to engage in a wide
variety of recreational activities with both sexes, and to expose herself in gynecological
detail, including extreme - almost microscopic - levels of close-up. In her
"crazy sister" avatar, Romay also manages to give a BJ onscreen, and director
Franco catches the climax just as it happens into her open mouth. Romay does not
get penetrated with a man-root, other than in her mouth, but she has a male
manservant, and he has a girlfriend, so that allows Franco to introduce some
heterosexual penetration into the mix. The ...er .. climax ... of the film is a
scene in which Lina has sex with (surprise) Lina. No, I don't mean masturbation,
although she does plenty of that, but in this case it's the rich sister paying a
visit to the crazy sister.
The film does exhibit some of the problems that plagued Franco's films in that
- He makes extensive, most people would say excessive, use of the zoom
- He has occasional focus problems, which he tends to correct on the
fly. (I suppose that derives mainly from his use of the zoom, which
always seem to require a period of trial-and-error refocusing after he
zooms in or out.)
- He re-uses some establishing footage several times. (One clip of
Romay walking through the woods in a transparent nightie and five-inch
heels appears at least three times.)
My opinion is that the curiosity value of the film (hardcore porn from Romay and
Franco) and the superb quality of the transfer outweigh the film's negatives if
you are looking for something unique to add to your collection. The icing on the
cake consists of plenty of extra features on the DVD. This disc is priced at a
premium level (the best price I could find was $29.95 new from
but I found it a good value. One simply cannot find anything to complain about
with this DVD.
- The film has been fully restored and the quality of the transfer is
- The disk also includes a lengthy compilation of interviews with
producer Dietrich and director Franco, all of which have been intercut
with samples from this film and others to create a documentary which illustrates the points they are
- There is also an interesting special featurette on the restoration
process, which is illustrated with before and after examples as well as
technical information about the techniques and hardware involved. (This
is not specifically about this particular film, but about the creation
of "The Official Jess Franco Collection," which basically consists of
the Dietrich/Franco collaborations produced in Switzerland in the
- There is a documentary about the making of a different Franco film:
the Klaus Kinski version of Jack the Ripper, featuring a lengthy
analysis from producer Erwin Dietrich.
- There are theatrical trailers from this and fourteen other similar
films - forty minutes of film altogether. (Including Rolls Royce Baby,
which is the only film I know of wherein Lina Romay shaved her
This film is good niche material, but since that is not my particular niche, I
found the special features more fascinating than the film. The trailer gallery
is like a time capsule, or perhaps a lesson in an obscure chapter of film
What can I say? I don't like hardcore porn and I don't like Jess Franco films,
but I spent a lot of time browsing through this disc!